the next good book

An American Summer

By Alex Kotlowitz


283 pages

What’s it about? Alex Kotlowtiz is the author of There Are No Children Here ,about children living in public housing in the city of Chicago in the 1990’s.  He now turns his attention to one summer in the city of Chicago- the summer of 2013.  He chronicles the violence that we read so much about in this city.  We hear the stories of perpetrators and victims alike.  Mr. Kotlowitz shares the stories of those involved in an effort to make us understand the horror of what is happening.  How this violence is shaping those who it surrounds. What did it make me think about? How is this the reality for so many people in America? Should I read it? This book sheds light on the violence and how it affects the residents of Chicago.  This book does not offer solutions.  However, if we can at least begin to see some of ourselves in the victims and the perpetrators maybe we will find a way forward. Quote- “In Chicago, the wealthy and the well-heeled die headline deaths and the poor and the rambling die in silence.  This is a book, I suppose, about that silence- and the screams and howling and prayers and longing that it hides.  Over lunch that day, Pharaoh told me, ‘There’s a lot of stuff I want to forget.’  This book is written with the hope that we won’t.”

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